(Manila) In response to protests from militant groups urging the administration to implement the recent Supreme Court decision ordering the distribution of about 5,000 hectares of land at Hacienda Luisita, President Benigno Aquino III signed early Monday Executive Order 66 creating a “virtual land option” for the farmers at his family’s estate.
“The ‘virtual land option’ will allow the farmers at Hacienda Luisita as well as other tenant farmers all over the country to own virtual land in a persistent massively multiplayer online farming experience.” Presidential Spokesman Oscar Donato told reporters during a press conference.
The massively multiplayer online farming experience (MMOFE) project entitled Farm Farm Village Village!™ is the first of its kind and is already nearing completion at the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Advanced Science and Technology Institute according to Donato.
Farm Farm Village Village!™ will allow farmers to experience the joy of owning their own land which can be accessed through computer terminals that will be provided by Hacienda Luisita Inc. at discounted prices.
The MMOFE will also be made available to the public but Hacienda Luisita farmers will be given free accounts as well as the advantage of owning a whopping 10 hectares of virtual land upon account activation.
“Farm Farm Village Village!™ is not just for farmers. As a matter of fact we are inviting Filipinos from all walks of life to grab a copy and experience the fun of tilling land!” Donato said.
The presidential spokesman also reported that feedback on the MMOFE has been positive so far. Even scions of land-owning families in Central Luzon who participated in the beta testing phase of the MMOFE have given it glowing reviews.
“Now I know how the farmers at our hacienda feel! I feel like a real farmer because of this online farming experience!” one of the beta testers wrote in his review of Farm Farm Village Village!™.
Meanwhile, farmers at Hacienda Luisita will also be given the privilege of continuing under the current Stock Distribution Option scheme initiated under the tenure of President Benigno Aquino’s late mother, former President Corazon Aquino.
“This way everyone is happy. Farmers get to till land for the Conjuangcos by day and till virtual land for themselves at night!” the presidential spokesman said.